The silence in my house settles like a blanket, as I clear my mind to hear the Lord. “Keep…..” I hear, But Keep what? Then it all comes out: “Keep running the race with perseverance, marked out for you, Fix your eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…….” and I turn to Hebrews 12:1-13. “Yes Lord I needed that”. A picture of running the Comrades marathon comes into my mind’s eye. (I’ve never done that). The discipline and constant reaffirmation of the value of the prize to finish. I find it tempting to feel sorry for myself as I face every day with the goal so far in the future. Maybe I’m only at “Polyshorts”. Prov 4:26,27 seems to affirm that: “Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or to the left.
But what about the idea of trust and wisdom? After our prayer meeting yesterday Ludwig sent a link to a talk by Tim Keller on Jeremiah 17. If you look back you will see I was speaking about that chapter last blog. His message was an eye-opener, however. I can’t give the whole message but he focused on vv 6-8, where God compares the one who trusts in man and turns away from the Lord to a bush in the desert. He described such a bush, struggling and ugly with few leaves, no nourishment for its roots and even when a storm pours water on it, can scarcely benefit. To the one who trusts in the Lord who is like a tree planted by a river, where its roots reach out into the stream. It faces the fear of heat and the worries in the year of drought, but never fails to bear fruit.
But here is the interesting thing.Vs 7 says (better translated in the ESV) Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. So the difference is the one trusts in the Lord and the other’s trust is the Lord. Splitting hairs? Not at all.The one who trusts in the Lord is trusting the Lord for the result or rewards he will get from placing that trust. So there is an expectation that if you trust in the Lord He will answer this prayer, or will provide that solution etc. The problem with that is that if your expectation is not met then your whole ability to “trust” gets a major knock and you will have less and less confidence in trusting Him next time.
The one whose trust IS the Lord however has placed his love and trust completely upon the Lord. He has placed the Lord central in His life. He is like the one whose roots reach down into the water and there is no fear or worry when the heat or the storms come because He knows the Lord is in ultimate control. Thought provoking!
Wycliffe the famous bible translator is reputed to have said you can measure who/what anyone is trusting and loving the most, by asking what do you spend most of your time thinking about in your unguarded moments? Last time I suggested that the measure is who do you run to in the moment of crisis?
My friends I share these thoughts with you because I find myself on a roller coaster sometimes – moments of supreme trust and confidence and then something unexpected and challenging happens and suddenly doubts flood in. Tim Keller reminded of Ephesians 3:14-21 and the importance of vs 17 where Paul prays that the reader may be rooted in God’s love.
So where are you rooted? I will keep praying for all of us that we will be rooted in that love which is immeasurable and promised completely to each one of us in Christ.
- Not My Will.
- Precious Welcome into the Kingdom.
- Wisdom expressed in Perseverance and Hope.
- From the Stump, the Messiah.
- Fruit from a Giving God.
- Be at Rest My Soul.
- Streams in the Desert
- Listening To Jesus, Through Isaiah.
- Welcome the Unusual King.
- Suggestions for a more meaningful quiet time with Jesus.